The other day, in the middle of a paid appearance at a car dealership, a woman approached me. She grabbed my arm and said, “Stay right here. I want you to meet my husband. He still looks like you used to.”
He still looks like you used to.
People say the most impolite things, sometimes without even realizing.
Once, leaving a hockey game, a drunken buffoon walked up to me, and, pointing, drooled out, “Hey! Didn’t you used to be somebody?”
He still looks like you used to.
Because I was merely half way through this paid appearance, meaning I had not yet been paid, I stayed right there, shaking hands with more people, chatting about imported autos, the weather and professional sports, as a total stranger walked away to hunt for my used-to-be look alike. She returned a moment later, toting some scraggy looking bastard. “See?” she asked. “He still looks just like you used to.”
What, exactly, do you say to such a thing?
She went on to explain that, years ago, when they and I were all younger, the husband used the fact that he vaguely resembled me to his advantage. “Back before he met me, he used to tell people he was you.” She then leaned in closer and added, “It worked. He got laid a lot.”
Well, that’s just great.
It’s rare that disgust and pride get mixed together so easily, but there I was, half-proud, half-sick.
I should take a moment before continuing to explain that I do not look much like I used to. Not many of us do. For those of you who haven’t spun your lives in concentric circles around the ways and means of your friendly neighborhood disc jockey, for those who have had lives of their own to lead, I should explain that for a period of time, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was a tall, thin, dark man with very long black hair and a beard. This was, and remains to this day, a description as common as the one given on the nightly news to describe the escapee. There are a lot of us out here, including, embarrassingly enough, most middle-eastern terrorists. But, apparently, back in the nineties, this look was working for the woman’s husband I met at the Harley dealership.
He finally spoke. “Yeah, man, I owe you some thanks. You got me all kinds of women. All I had to do was tell ‘em I was you.”
What do you say to that?
Well, I told him, I’m glad it was working for somebody.
Surprisingly, this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened to me. There have been several other incidents, similar to the one I just described. I’m not stupid. I haven’t forgotten how things work. I realize that some guys will do anything to get off, including pretending to be someone else.
But why tell me?
The most embarrassing of these incidents was when a guy told me about how he had gotten lucky by convincing some imbecile of this lie. The embarrassing part was that he weighed, easily, 260 pounds, and had, to put it politely, an odor. He smelled like an old, used washcloth. I wanted very badly to ask if he had bathed before lying, if he had always weighed that much, and if he had killed anyone while using my name. I didn’t, of course, because I wanted to get away from the smell.
As offended as I am by these idiots arbitrarily fooling exceptionally dumb members of the opposite sex by invoking the name of a low-level, mediocre disc jockey, I am more shocked by the fact that they think I would be impressed by such an act.
And so, to all who care, even in the slightest, I would like to announce: it wasn’t me. I did not, and still do not, smell like an old washcloth. In addition, if you afterwards were promised that the next time it would be even better, let me reassure you. It was definitely not me.
I no longer have the long hair. I am no longer 28 years old. I don’t, indeed, still look like I used to. And, if it’s all the same to you, I don’t want to hear these kinds of stories anymore. I’m not interested in your sex life, past or present, and, as heartfelt as it is, I don’t want your gratitude.
You don’t have to thank me.
I think you’ve done enough.